The defense was severely cut and reorganized following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan has been a member of the CSTO, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, since 1992, with Russian Federation.
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The defense is based on general military duty and (2008) comprises 11,000 men, of which the army has 8,500 men with 3 brigades and the air force 2,400 men with 52 older fighter aircraft. The material is of Soviet origin and semi-modern. Semi-military security forces amount to 9,500 men.
Defense spending decreased in 1996-2006 from 2.6% to 1.3% of GDP. Kyrgyzstan participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in Ethiopia/Eritrea, Liberia and Sudan. Denmark, the Russian Federation and the United States support air operations and/or air transport operations in Afghanistan from Kyrgyzstan. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that KYR stands for Kyrgyzstan.
2010 Revolution II
Kyrgyzstan was hit by the global economic crisis and, at the end of 2009, faced increasing energy problems. Over the winter, therefore, the country was hit by rolling power cuts, and in February 2010, the authorities announced that heat would rise by 400% and electricity prices by 170%. It triggered general dissatisfaction and at the same time increased dissatisfaction with the government due to its corruption. In the spring, Russia’s support for the government also diminished after President Bakiev decided to lease the Manas air base to the United States. Russian-controlled media launched a campaign against the president, accusing him of corruption.
On April 1, Russia imposed duties on its oil and gas exports to Kyrgyzstan, and this immediately broke through in prices. On April 6, therefore, about 1,000 protesters attacked public buildings in western Kyrgyzstan. The buildings were occupied but later recaptured by security forces. On April 7, the demonstrations spread to the capital, where police first used tear gas, rubber bullets and pacifier grenades against the protesters, to later switch to sharp ammunition. About 88 were killed and 1,000 injured in the ensuing fighting. Still, protesters first managed to storm Parliament and later occupy the state TV station.
On April 15, Bakiyev went into exile in Kazakhstan and at the same time filed his resignation as president. From Kazakhstan, he flew to Belarus a few days later, where on the 21st he declared that he still considered himself the president of his country.
It was the ousted President Bakiyev who had secured the United States the right to use the Manas air base that has a strategic bearing on the war of superpower in Afghanistan. The United States therefore criticized the protesters from the beginning in April, and after the opposition took power, the superpower declared that it continued to regard Bakiyev as the country’s president. Others, by UN Secretary-General Ban Kee Moon, on the other hand, described Bakiyev’s departure as an important step towards democracy in the country.
The transitional government, led by Roza Otunbayeva, declared after a few days that it would hold elections in 2011. Otunbayeva is barred by the constitution from running for that election.
In mid-June, an ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan broke out between Kyrgyz and Uzbek people. The conflict was possibly triggered by supporters of deposed President Bakiyev, costing several hundred killed, 2,000 wounded over the course of several days, and sending 100-250,000 on the run. 45,000 of them to neighboring Uzbekistan.
In May 2011, a commission of inquiry headed by President Roza Otunbayeva issued a report on the June 2010 massacre. As a result of the investigation, 5,000 charges were raised, but although almost all victims were Uzbek, 83% of those accused of killing were also Uzbek. Uzbek people were routinely sentenced to a few years in prison for life. Often on “confessions” forced during torture. The country’s Supreme Court upheld those judgments.
History. – After the 2005 Tulip Revolution, Kyrgyzstan was characterized by strong political instability with reshuffles and short governments, mobilization of the opposition and popular pro-heads who demanded greater democratic openness from President Kurmanbek Bakiev. In November 2006 Bakiev signed the new Constitution which limited presidential powers and in October 2007, in a referendum, a new electoral system and constitutional changes were introduced. Bakiev dissolved Parliament to call new elections: these were held on December 16, 2007 and were won by Ak Zhol, who obtained 46.99% of the votes and won 71 seats out of 90, while the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) won. 11 and the Communist Party (KPK) 8. The political situation remained tense in the following months, even though Bakiev was reconfirmed in the presidential elections on 23 July 2009 with 76.12% of the votes in a contested election. Protests against the authoritarian president escalated and culminated on April 6, 2010, when crowds of opponents poured into the streets and occupied the headquarters of the secret services and state TV. Bakiev fled to Kazakhstan, and opposition leader and prime minister Roza Otunbaeva became president ad interim by establishing a transitional regime. The instabilities degenerated in June with inter-ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, with a toll of over 200 dead, thousands of injured and hundreds of thousands of refugees.
On June 27, 91.81% of the electors approved a constitutional referendum which transformed the Kyrgyzstan into a parliamentary republic. The October elections did not see a clear winner and a coalition government was formed which brought together the SDPK, Respublika and Ata-zhurt parties, chaired by the Social Democratic leader Almazbek Atambaev, then winner of the presidential elections on 30 October 2011. The elections of the October 2015 for the renewal of Parliament saw the affirmation of the Social Democrats as the first political force in the country (27.4% of the votes), followed by the coalition of the Respublika and Ata-Zhurt parties (20% of the votes).
In foreign policy, relations with neighboring Uzbekistan remained tense, especially on water and energy issues. After having logistically supported NATO operations in Afghānistān, Kyrgyzstan decided in 2014 not to renew the use of the Manas air base to the United States.
On the other hand, trade relations with China were strengthened, with the Turkish-speaking countries through participation in the Turkish Council since 2009 and with Russia through the accession, on 23 December 2014, to the Eurasian Economic Union.